Torrey Nelson has worked as a security officer for almost three years without a raise. He supports his three children and his spouse, who is unemployed, on $9.50 an hour.
Although he is offered healthcare through his job, it is so expensive that Torrey can only afford to cover himself under the plan. His wife and kids have to turn to the state for healthcare. "I feel like it's my responsibility to take care of them. I wish I could do more. I need a second job so I can keep up and save for our future."
Torrey works hard to protect a well-known bank in downtown Cincinnati, but isn't paid enough to make ends meet. "The people that own the bank also own the building I protect. If they're making billions of dollars, why do I get paid so little? It's just not right," says Torrey.
Security officers like Torrey take home less than $20,000--below than the federal poverty level for a family his size.
Even with all of his hardships, Torrey is quick to point out that he doesn't have it as bad as some of his co-workers. "We're in pretty good health. I'm glad we don't have a lot of burdens or we couldn't make it work."
At first, Torrey was unsure about forming a union. "But now more and more people that I respect are involved. I might not be here forever, but we've got kids, and I want to be a good role model."